On April 25, 2018, former University of Louisville employee, Kimberly Maffet, filed a lawsuit against the school, claiming that a number of wrongs against her ultimately led to undue termination. In particular, she asserts that she was discriminated against for her disability, retaliated against for speaking out on alleged supervisory misconduct, and wrongfully discharged on the basis of both her disability and retaliation. Prior to her termination, Maffet served as the Associate Athletic Director for Human Resources, and had been there for about 10 years.
The discrimination concerns began when Maffet had to be hospitalized for potentially life-threatening health problems. Although the university was reportedly accommodating, albeit begrudgingly, such accommodations wore thin, and her supervisor expressed disdain for her absences, making snide comments and letting out sighs of frustration any time she had to bring a health concern to the university’s attention. The same management was apparently also displeased with accommodations needed for another disabled employee, which only validated Maffet’s worries.
Maffet’s retaliation issues, on the other hand, resulted from a different matter entirely. Her complaint provides that a number of personnel concerns came to her attention, which had generated “a culture of misogynism, sexism, lying, cover-up, and bullying in the Athletic Department.” Additionally, according to the complaint, common practice at the University involved weekly meetings where employees were required to choose a University employee who they believe should be fired, and place that person’s name in a “firing jar.” Maffet expressed her discomfort with the practice, asking to be excused, though she was allegedly advised that her name would be next in the jar if she would not oblige.
After reporting the specifics of the poor conduct within the University, purportedly relating to nepotism and employee policy violations, Maffet claims that her “reports of misconduct along with her disability caused her to become a target of reprisal and termination.” Maffet is seeking both compensatory and punitive damages, as well as costs and fees.